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  1. Default The adventure begins

    [FONT="Arial"]Hi everyone, new to fly fishing and heading out to local creek on Sunday for my first day of actually fishing.

    I've fished (not avidly) for many years and always wanted to learn what I consider the 'purest' form of fishing. On a recent trip to a non fishing lake I bought a $29 blister pack to learn how to cast and I learned 2 things. I learned that you get what you pay for and I learned that I was looking up at a steep learning curve!

    On my return I visited all the local stores for advice, absorbed a few books and learned a great deal from websites such as this one. I replaced the reel first as the cheap one sounded like a couple of chainsaws in a steel drum and bought a cheap wf line to practice with. I read a thread on another site about the importance of buying local (which I've found to great advice) and I'd decided on the low end sage rod. One of the local stores took me outside to try a blister pack rod alongside the sage and the echo. What a difference! They told me that I was casting the echo better and at $75 less I put that money into a good line and am now the proud owner of a 9' 5 wt rod.

    I've been gathering some basic accessories and a few flies suitable for the N. Fork Yuba where I'll be heading for a few days soon and Putah Creek, both in Ca. I did go online last night and ordered some waders and a flyfishing pack as I got both for less than a vest locally.

    Taking a guided trip is high on my list but having dropped more than I should on basic gear lately it's a little ways off so I'm heading up to Putah creek this Sunday primarily to learn to cast with the new outfit and learn accurate presentation on flowing water. So if you're there and hear British swear words coming from someone in work waders torturing some graphite and making a wf line sound like a meteor strike - stop by and say hi!

    If anyone has any suggestions about what to focus on, any teaching hints about working moving water etc. I'd be most grateful. Also I understand that the creek is running a little high and nymphing is what's working now so any thoughts on depth, strike indicators, droppers or anything else you think may be important would also be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance, I've already learned a great deal from this site and will be sure to update on my adventures!


  2. Default Re: The adventure begins

    Go to Utube and look up some videos on how to mend line and casting techniques. That's a good place to start. Here are a couple links
    YouTube - Fly Casting "Mending"
    YouTube - Fly Fishing Lessons - Part 1
    Good luck and have fun!

  3. Default Re: The adventure begins

    Great info Yat. I am going to say, learn to ROLL cast. Comes in handy even if you have the room for a back cast. Specially if you are using an INDICATOR or MULTI RIG. Through in a REACH cast and you will be ahead of the game.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The adventure begins

    Here are two sites that I think are awesome and have all the info you will ever need imho: Fly Anglers OnLine, Your Complete Internet Flyfishing Resource. and Fly Fishing, Fly-Fishing Gear, Tips and News - MidCurrent
    I also think YouTube has great stuff (and some not so great stuff). I like the Tight Lines Fly Fishing Co. vids. Here's a post with a few of their vids- great stuff: And, of course, there's Orvis vids too:

  5. #5

    Default Re: The adventure begins

    I agree with Joni about the roll cast. I am a huge fan of it for a few reasons- aside from the obvious back space issue, it keeps the fly in the water with the fish and not in the air, which beginners tend to do way too much. Here's a good roll cast video, although I don't bend my body forward as much as Joan Wulff does. At least i don't think I do. Fly Fishing Video, Joan Wulff Fly Casting, Chapter 5 - MidCurrent

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2008

    Default Re: The adventure begins


    You've gotten great advice.

    I think your best bet will be the No. Branch of the Yuba. Here’s a site with a link to recent reports. Putah Creek looks like it’s blown out by high flows.
    Fish First! Northern California Fly Fishing

    In addition to the standards (Royal Wulffs or Trudes, Adams., Light Cahill, Blue Wing Olives, Elk hair Caddis etc, or new equivalents to imitate mayflies and caddis like sparkle duns, X caddis, pick up some stuff at a local shop to get up to date info and maybe some tips on access and techniques. You may want to pick up some dry fly flotant also if you don't have any (I like the paste type (DAB, Gink etc) and get some local patterns. You may want some of these too:

    Golden stonefly nymphs and dries
    Yellow Stimulators 12 -14
    Grasshoppers 10-12
    Emergent Sparkle Pupa (green and/or orange 14 with or without beadhead) size 14
    Beadhead Woolly Bugger (black) size 8, and/or black Marabou muddler size 6.

    Some easy to fish and good searching flies, and they’re hard to fish “wrong”:

    Emergent Caddis Sparkle Pupa green and/or orange size 14 with or without beadhead- cast across and let swing below you. Let it hang in the current abit before you pick up and recast.

    Black Bead head woolly bugger #8 or black weighted marabou muddler #6 - fish on a sinktip with a short leader if you have one, or a floater with a long leader if you don’t. Good for fishing deeper holes, and may scare up a good brown or two.

    Grasshoppers, Stimis and Golden Stone dries- good to cast along banks, and are pretty forgiving when it comes to drag, since the naturals often make a commotion on the surface anyway. Stimis and stones are also good for riffles, and they all float like corks and are easy to see. They’re big happy meals, and will often move fish to them, which helps if you casting is a bit off.

    Look for current seams, current breaks around rocks, undercut banks on the outside of bends, and top and tail out of pools and other holding water. Seams and eddys where small tribs flow into the streams are also often good. If the river is really roaring, fish are apt to be out of the main current, often along the bank or the first dropoff within 3’ of it. As others have said, mending will be key.

    Fly Fishing, Fly Presentation, Mending - MidCurrent

    Remember the longer the cast = more line on the water = harder to get a drag free drift. Better to position yourself for shorter casts, the less fly line on the water the better. Fish near stuff first and cast out further to reach out to different angles. Keep moving positions to get good angles. If you’re in water up to your knees in fast water, you’re probably standing where you should be fishing…

    A good place to start with a nymph/ indicator is to set the indicator up 1.5x the depth of the water, and adjust from there. You should feel it ticking along the bottom Nymphing can be tough at first. Try short lining golden stone nymphs in riffles and pocket water. You can also try dries like yellow stimulators in the same spots, also with a short line (you should be getting yellow sallies coming off in the afternoon) .

    You can also hang a small bead head nymph from the bend of a Stimi or Grasshopper (hopper copper dropper) and use the dry as an indicator. Keep the dropper short 6” to 1 1/2’ max to avoid tangles.

    Good luck, looking forward to the hero shots of you and Mr. and Ms. Trout.


  7. Default Re: The adventure begins

    you said the water is high so nymphing would be a good idea. Nymph fishing is really hard though but i would still try it.

    To nymph fish you'll going to need a strike indicator, and a fly. You could also use two flies. For nymph fishing i would stick with a pheasant tail nymph, hare's ear nymph, prince nymph.

    For the strike indicator see how high the water is then add a few feet to that and thats how high on your leader you indicator will go.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The adventure begins

    If I could butt in here and give you some advice too. Get some expert, hands on fly casting lessons. By someone who's certified, someone that you don't know, and listen carefully and follow closely to what they tell you. If you do, you'll shorten your learning curve by light years. Have them video tape you and critique your casting. Nothing like seeing yourself cast and see your mistakes.
    Good luck.
    Life is not like a bowl of cherries. It's more like a jar of ghost peppers. What you eat today might burn your ass tomorrow...

  9. Default Re: The adventure begins

    Well I heeded all the advice on a local forum and skipped Putah Creek this weekend but I do want to get some basic skills down before my Yuba trip. I know the river & creeks very well and my regular visits there are a prime reason for taking up fly fishing. Although a possible work trip to Montana soon is another motivator right now!

    I stopped by the local shop and explained what I was looking for. They agreed completely with what everyone's said and pointed me in the direction of Lagunitas lake just north of SF. With a few flies in hand I went for a few hours on Sunday and had a great time! The biggest lesson learned was that I should take casting lessons which is next on my agenda for sure. I've since re-watched a few of the videos that you've pointed me in the direction of and think I know my problem but still taking a casting lesson though. The Tim Landwehr you-tubes were great!

    I also learned that I should bring everything I might need with me. My pack isn't here yet so my new fishing gear was scattered about home and I forgot my extra leaders, 45 minutes and one fly into my day I realized that the leader was gone! After 20 min of wandering about looking for it since with my casting it couldn't be that far away, I gave up and decided to tie on some tippet so that I could keep practicing. Most of you probably feel that the fishing gods are with you when your reel spends a day screaming, well they were with me yesterday as when I sneaked behind a tree for a pee I spotted the leader hanging from a little bush!

    I spent another couple of hours thrashing around, no takes but I got a couple of perfect casts in which felt great. When I got home & looked closely at the map I realized that I'd actually fished the wrong lake so I'll try to find Lagunitas next Sunday! That leads me to my next question - anyone have any advice for fishing a small lake that's a wild hatchery, techniques, flys, approach etc. anything you feel appropriate?

    I will try Putah Creek for sure but it will probably be later in the year and probably with a guide as I'm told it's pretty expert fishing.

    Thanks again for the great advice, I'll be back with updates I'm sure!

  10. #10

    Default Re: The adventure begins

    don't forget, putah is NZMS positive so you'll have to treat your wading gear (everything that goes into the water) with an approved method.

    fresno, ca.

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